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Kimberly Innocenzi is the wife of Joe Girardi, who has had a career with the New York Yankees for several years. Girardi played catcher for the Bronx Bombers in 1996 and held his position until 1999.
He became the 32nd manager in club history on in 2007. On Thursday, October 26, 2017, it was announced that Girardi would part ways with the team.
Innocenzi has been married to Girardi since 1990.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Innocenzi Was in a Sorority at Northwestern University Where She Obtained a Degree in Education & Met Girardi
Innocenzi and Girardi were both students at Northwestern University when they met. Innocenzi was working to obtain her master’s degree in education at the time. She was also in the Tri Delta sorority and spent a lot of time involved with the Greek life on campus.
Innocenzi and Girardi had both been hanging out at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house when they ended up talking and hitting it off. According to Daily Northwestern, the two ended up bonding after Innocenzi lost an earring. The pair spent some time searching for the lost jewel and the rest was pretty much history.
They dated throughout college — and beyond. Three years after they graduated, Girardi proposed.
Innocenzi became a third-grade teacher after college and worked in Illinois. Once Girardi’s career took off, Innocenzi traveled with him, eventually moving to New York.
2. Innocenzi & Girardi Wed 3 Years After Graduating from College & Have 3 Children Together
The two wed in 1990 in Evanston, Illinois. The couple eventually settled down in Purchase, New York, where they currently own a home.
“She’s been the wind beneath my wings, which was the song at our wedding,” Girardi told Daily Northwestern.
Being married for more than two decades is more rare these days, but Girardi and Innocenzi have worked hard to keep their relationship going. Last year, Girardi was asked what kind of marital advice he’d give his former teammate Derek Jeter.
“The advice is it’s very rewarding, but it’s work. Marriage is work and you gotta work at it,” Girardi responded.
The couple are parents to three children, Serena, Dante, who is named after Girardi’s former teammate Dante Bichette, and Lena.
3. Innocenzi Suffered a Miscarriage in 1997
Innocenzi found out that she was pregnant in 1997. However, she miscarried in her 10th week of pregnancy. Girardi recalled trying to call his wife after a game against the Milwaukee Brewers in April of that year. She didn’t answer the phone and he knew that something was seriously wrong.
“That was one of the toughest things we’ve ever had to go through. We thought that God had timed it perfectly. The baby was going to be born in November, so we’d have the whole off season to be with the baby. I kept calling her that night and she wasn’t answering. I knew something was wrong,” Girardi told the New York Times back in 1999.
Girardi became a rock for his wife, who had a very hard time following the devastating news.
“She started to blame herself. She took it a lot harder than I did. We went through a tough period until like a year later. It was much tougher for her because it was part of her. I just told her it wasn’t her fault. It was God’s will,” he told the New York Times.
About two years later, the Girardis received some good news: Innocenzi was pregnant. The couple welcomed their first child nine months later.
4. Innocenzi Is Very Private & Very Religious
Innocenzi does not have any public-facing social media accounts and has kept her personal life completely away from the mainstream media. She is a very religious person and spends a great deal of time reading the bible and sharing her faith with others.
“As a little girl, Kim was involved in the Good News Club, an affiliate of the international Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Fellowship is a ministry dedicated to the belief that, as a spokesman put it, ‘if properly instructed, any child can come to knowledge that God is our Creator, created us for a reason, sent Jesus to die for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, was seen by hundreds of witnesses, and is alive now in heaven,’” reports The New Yorker.
According to the report, Innocenzi started a bible-study group in Chicago when Girardi signed with the Cubs back in 1989.
5. Innocenzi Convinced Girardi to Get Back into Baseball After His Mother Died & Helped Foster Girardi’s Faith
Girardi’s mom died in 1984 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. He had a very hard time with her passing and moved back home to Peoria, Illinois, giving up baseball. It took a little while for Girardi to grieve, but he just didn’t want to do much of anything after losing his mom. It was Innocenzi that convinced Girardi to get back into the swing of things.
“She made me realize that I was playing because God gave me a gift, and I would be able to share God’s good news through my gift and talent,” Girardi told The New Yorker in a candid interview.
“Kim introduced me to Jesus,” Girardi told The New Yorker. The site quotes another Girardi interview in which he told a reporter how that happened.
“We were sitting in the basement of the Tri Delta sorority house. Kim explained salvation to me, and I silently prayed to receive Jesus as my Savior,” Girardi explained.